Get Srong with Unite Fitness Retreat

By Unite Fitness Retreat’s Dietician Brooke Bouwhuis

Each morning we get up, get ready and sit in a car, train or bus to commute to work, many of us only trudge in from the parking lot before we sit again, we eat lunch at our desk, sit through meetings and sit again as we commute home. Exhausted after a day of work and commuting we sit again in front of the tv or the computer. Sitting is the new smoking.

So much sitting each day leads to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and even cancer. We know it’s happening but sometimes its tough to break out of old habits and routines and begin to strengthen and tone your fabulous machine.

Strengthening and toning your body is something we focus on at Unite for many reasons. Some of us just need to be taught how to move again, how to not be intimidated by a gym and all the clanking equipment. Strengthening your body builds muscle which burns calories which helps you achieve your weight loss goals.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of finding your “thing” – what do you love to do that you had no idea was inside you? Boxing with a spiky haired fireball of amazing energy, non-weightbearing workouts in a pool, soothing yet challenging yoga and stretching properly all while learning how to use overwhelming gym equipment with confidence.

What does it even mean to strengthen and tone your body anyway?

Exercises that strengthen muscles and improve their definition and shape is strengthening and toning. Curves and muscles in all the right places. Empowering kinds of changes to improve the health of your body, mind and spirit.

Consider this being your future. The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner identify the 5 regions in the world where people have the longest life expectancy and are still connecting and engaging with their families and communities. In Okinawa, Japan, 100+ year old people still sit on mats in their homes and get up and off the floor 20+ times a day. At 100! This simple act helps them maintain core strength, keeps arms and legs strong and decreases their risk of falling.

In Ikaria, Greece, the hilly mountainside is climbed daily by it’s 100 year old citizens – mother nature’s stair stepper helping these centurion’s stay strong and fit and burn calories like crazy.

Is it hard for you to get up off the floor from sitting? Do you climb things daily as a natural part of your life? Sadly, not many of us live in that type of environment but that is not an excuse to ignore the take home message. The underlying message is to find something natural, something you love, incorporate it more often in your life to help you be more active, burn more calories and achieve your goals.

It’s hard to work to strengthen and tone but its benefits are real.  Clothes that fit better, energy levels that last longer and muscles lifting more and more as you push yourself in the gym. We would love to share our expertise with you on how to get that stronger, toned body!  Strong is beautiful and strong is handsome.